Yuriy Vernydub's side have won their last two in the league to occupy sixth spot in the table, while Vitebsk currently sit ninth with 10 points to show from their seven matches thus far.
The Belarusian Premier League is now seven games old, and there are no signs that the campaign will be postponed despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
The league's second Sunday match will see Vitebsk welcome Shakhtyor, and the hosts will be looking for their fourth victory of the campaign. Indeed, a total of 10 points has left them in ninth spot in the division, six points off the summit ahead of Friday and Saturday's action.
Vitebsk have actually twice finished as runners-up in the Belarusian Premier League, while they won the Belarusian Cup in 1998. Last season proved to be disappointing, though, as they finished 13th, winning just eight of their 30 matches during a disappointing campaign.
Sergey Yasinsky's side actually won three of their first five matches of the season but have lost their last two to Isloch and Slavia, meaning that they will be desperate to bounce back this weekend.
Shakhtyor, as mentioned, will enter the match in impressive form, winning their last three matches in all competitions, including successive league victories over Dinamo Brest and Isloch.
Vernhub's team also recorded a 4-2 win over Dinamo Brest in the second leg of their Belarusian Cup semi-final on April 29, although they were eliminated from the competition on away goals.
Shakhtyor have won the Belarusian Premier League on one occasion (2005), while they have been runners-up on six separate occasions, the last of which was in 2018. They finished third last season but have not been lower than that since 2009, which is an indication of their standing in the league.
The three-time Belarusian Cup winners have also only lost one of their last six league matches on their travels, picking up maximum points in two of their last three. Meanwhile, they have only conceded three times in the league this term - the joint-best defensive record - and will be tough opposition for Vitebsk.
Vitebsk form (Belarusian Premier League): LWDWLL
Shakhtyor form (Belarusian Premier League): WDDLWW
Head To Head
Shakhtyor have won 27 of the last 45 matches between the two sides, with Vitebsk claiming just nine victories and the further nine matches finishing level.
The last meeting between the two teams ended in a 4-0 Shakhtyor victory in September 2019, but Vitebsk do have a recent victory in this fixture to their name - a 1-0 success in May 2019.
The fixture has been dominated by Shakhtyor, though, and there has not actually been a draw between the sides since they met in the Belarusian Cup back in November 2015.
We say: Vitebsk 0-2 Shakhtyor
Shakhtyor's recent record against Vitebsk is difficult to ignore, while the visitors will enter the match in much the better form. Vitebsk are certainly capable of making it a very difficult afternoon, but we fancy Vernydub's side to collect all three points in fairly routine fashion.
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